Bishop Wayne T. Jackson of Impact Ministries International in Detroit is upset that video of a consecration ceremony in which he is seen laying on two men has been taken out of context. Social media commenters have viciously criticized it as perverse and members of the cloth have assailed his actions as unholy.
Yet the popular Detroit pastor refuses to stop the practice and his church is backing him up, Fox 2 News Detroit reports.
The two men, newly tapped bishops who were being consecrated in the video, have not been identified. One church member, Henry Haddad, backed his pastor, arguing that The Bible does not specify how to consecrate a bishop and that he knows one of the men who took part in the controversial ceremony. “If he thought there was anything perverse about it, he would have gotten up and addressed it,” Haddad said.
SEE ALSO: Facebook Unveils Free Phone Calls
Nicole Haddad, another church member added, “that was a service of covering. That’s what that was all about. I’ve seen it throughout my whole 28 years of being here. So it’s nothing new of me.”
As NewsOne previously reported, the video went viral and has generated 46, 939 views on YouTube–a more than 30,000 view jump since we posted the story Wednesday morning.
“What hurt the most is for them to get on the internet and spread vicious rumors and don’t even know me,” Jackson said. “Anyone who knows me knows my record speaks for itself. It was two bishops being consecrated under my authority. The controversy is about when they saw that I had prayed and laid on the participant. It wasn’t a sexual act. But for somebody to take that and try to use that in a perverted way…we pray for them. We walk in love.”
Jackson’s wife, Beverly Jackson, says the critics misconstrued what they saw and that the harsh online reactions are taking a toll on the couple’s children. “When he, as they say, ‘laid on the person,’ it was the upper torso, so I don’t know how that was sexual. And then our children were upset. They were calling the girls ‘whores’ and all this kind of stuff on the internet.”
Greg Stevenson, a professor at Rochester College in Rochester, Mich., who specializes in the New Testament, says that he has never seen a consecration ceremony carried out in the way Bishop Jackson did it, but added that perversion did not come to mind when he viewed the YouTube video.
Want to Keep Up With NewsOne.com? LIKE Us On Facebook!
“It is interesting that there are some elements of ceremony that do have roots in Biblical tradition,” Stevenson said. “I understand that some people are disturbed by him laying his body on top of two people and saw it in some kind of sexual connotation. I didn’t necessarily see it that way, although I understand how people could take it that way.”
As Bishop Jackson explains it, what people saw on the video, from the sheet covering to the laying on the men, represents the death and burial of the old person and the rising into the new office of Bishop. Also, the ceremony was performed before more than a thousand people and that it was live-streamed to millions more. It was not done in hiding, the pastor added.
When asked if he would stop the ceremony after getting so much criticism over it, he said wouldn’t. “Yes I will do it again because that’s their mind. If you’re mind is nasty, then it’s nasty. And I am not going to stop what I’m doing because you have a nasty mind.”